Call for Papers! How do we ensure archaeological data are usable and reusable?

Join us in Amsterdam in April 2023 to explore why, how and for whom we’re creating archaeological data…

Screenshot from the CAA 2023 conference website. Join us via submitting an abstract through https://2023.caaconference.org/submissions/call-for-papers/

Last week, I posted about our new European project, Transforming Data Reuse in Archaeology (TETRARCHs), and this week I wanted to flag that we are hosting a session at the forthcoming Computer Applications in Archaeology (CAA) conference from 3-6 April 2023 in Amsterdam. We are running Session #29, seeking standard papers (15 minute presentations) to be followed by questions and discussion.

If you have an interest in the use and reuse of archaeological data, including critiques, concerns, case studies, examples of challenges and good practices, provocations, and blue-sky thinking for the future of archaeology and heritage data, this conference session is for you! You may wish to engage with the themes of TETRARCHs or stretch beyond them.

The abstract for our session is presented below, and you can submit your proposals via registering on the CAA conference platform. The CAA recommends that you are guided by these instructions in preparing your abstract for a ‘standard paper’, although please note we are open to different styles of presenting your ideas that do not necessarily require strict adherence to the ‘extended abstract’ format – get in touch if you have questions. If you have troubles navigating the online conference platform, read these guidelines or please just email myself or Holly Wright.

The deadline for submissions is rapidly approaching – 17 October 2022 – so please apply & spread the word!


CAA Session #29

S29. How do we ensure archaeological data are usable and Reusable, and for whom? Putting the R in FAIR for archaeological data

The last decade has seen extensive efforts to make digital assets more accessible and dynamic through experimentation with interoperability in cultural heritage aggregation infrastructures (e.g., the Europeana or ARIADNE portals). Such infrastructures allow static resources to be updated and cross-searched, but to do so, the metadata for these assets must be mapped in a centralised and controlled way. This can take the shape of mapping to a controlled vocabulary, thesaurus or ontology, which invariably reflects the types of terminology and relationships defined by those who are charged with curating the data (domain specialists), not those who might use the data in new and innovative ways.

Digital data curation for cultural heritage has therefore reached a critical impasse. A central tension exists between the need to preserve cultural resources, and the dynamic potential for their use and reuse in democratic, just and compelling ways. At the same time, the introduction of the tetrarchy of FAIR Guiding Principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) for scientific data management and stewardship (Wilkinson et al. 2016) has set an important challenge: that each of the four principles is of equivalent importance and must therefore be engaged with equally. Within archaeology, much work has been done over the last 20 years to make data Findable, Accessible and Interoperable, but very little is understood about whether data are Reusable–and by whom (Wright and Richards 2018). The impact of this gap in knowledge is profound, as cultural heritage data are increasingly drawn into divisive debates, dangerous speech, cross-border misinformation-sharing and xenophobia, therein compromising human solidarity and social cohesion (e.g., Bonacchi and Krzyzanska 2021).

Newly-funded through the Transformations: Social and cultural dynamics in the digital age programme of the Collaboration of Humanities and Social Sciences in Europe (CHANSE) Consortium, Transforming Data Re-use in Archaeology (TETRARCHs) argues that the future of digital curation depends upon reconciling this divide between collection and reuse. It aims to demonstrate that data optimised for ethical and emotive storytelling will provide the bridge between those who find or preserve heritage assets, and the diverse cross-European audiences for whom they might generate meaning.

TETRARCHs builds upon international initiatives which seek to improve the accessibility of digital cultural heritage data via interfacing with those data: browsing them, searching them, and retrieving them in more ‘generous’ ways (e.g., (Whitelaw 2015). However, even as such experimentation grows, the assets themselves continue to be bound by relatively narrow classifications imposed by experts. Herein structure and reliability are maintained, but relevance and accessibility to the wider world remain limited (Manzo et al. 2015). The stories that can be told through the data are often narrow and pre-determined, with the vast

majority devoid of affect, sensuality and agency (Krmpotich and Somerville 2016). The urgency of the predicament is heightened by growing interdisciplinary acknowledgement that this rift is directly linked to systemic bias, social inequity and racial injustice in data repositories (Sanderson and Clemens 2020). Efforts to rectify these biases include archival redescription (Pringle 2020), revised ethical metadata standards (Farnel 2018), felt-experience conceptual model extensions (Canning 2018), and alternative ‘fluid ontologies’ (Srinivasan 2018). The imperative for change to data infrastructures is overt.

Yet recognition that such change must begin from the moment the data are conceived (as opposed to the moment they are deposited into a repository) has been slow in coming.

Furthering our argument is the rapid pace of innovation with data acquisition technologies (Morgan et al. 2021), whose workflows still fail to capture important descriptive detail, emotion, human values and multiple viewpoints. Even as community-driven practices grow in popularity, fundamental redesign of our workflows and data to embed communities and justice at their core is still lacking (Dolcetti et al. 2021). Design Justice frameworks enabling such value-led, co-created redesign of digital structures are blossoming (Costanza-Chock 2020), but their systematic use in fields like archaeology is effectively nonexistent.

Through an interdisciplinary team of archaeological specialists, data scientists, and museum practitioners, collaborating with three key user groups – domain experts, creative practitioners, and memory institutions – TETRARCHs will offer those who gather, curate and apply cultural heritage data with critically-aware workflows to prepare their data for enhanced re-use at every point in the data lifecycle (e.g., capture, mapping, lab-based analysis), then scenario-test such re-use through the dissemination of new narrative outputs authored by cross-European creative practitioners. The project embraces three scales of data collection in archaeology – landscape, site and artefact – exploring them via four increasingly ubiquitous technologies for data capture: airborne LiDAR, 3D scanning, digital field drawing and photography. Alongside novel workflows for field, post-excavation and archival practice, TETRARCHs will produce a controlled vocabulary for cultural heritage storytelling, assessments of data reuse effectiveness following ISO Standard 25022: Measurement of Quality in Use, and best practice recommendations for trusted digital repositories to optimise archaeological data for re-use.

This session invites papers on the use and reuse of archaeological data, including case studies, examples of challenges and good practices, provocations and blue-sky thinking for the future of data re/use. Contributors may wish to engage with the themes of TETRARCHs or stretch beyond them. By hosting this session early in the life of TETRARCHs, we hope to foster discussion and collaboration with others who have comparable interests, and ensure that our outcomes are both well-considered and meaningful to the CAA community at large.

Bonacchi, Chiara, and Marta Krzyzanska. 2021. “Heritage-Based Tribalism in Big Data Ecologies: Deploying Origin Myths for Antagonistic Othering.” Big Data & Society 8 (1).

Canning, Erin. 2018. “Documenting Object Experiences in the Art Museum with CIDOC CRM.”

Costanza-Chock, Sasha. 2020. Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need. The MIT Press.

Dolcetti, Francesca, Claire Boardman, Rachel Opitz, and Sara Perry. 2021. “Values-Led Design Cards: Building Ethically Engaged Archaeology and Heritage Experiences.” Sustainability: Science Practice and Policy 13 (7): 3659.

Farnel, Sharon. 2018. “Metadata as Data: Exploring Ethical Metadata Sharing and Access for Indigenous Resources Through OCAP Principles.” Proceedings of the Annual Conference of CAIS / Actes Du Congrès Annuel de l’ACSI, July.

Krmpotich, Cara, and Alexander Somerville. 2016. “Affective Presence: The Metonymical Catalogue.” Museum Anthropology 39(2): 178-191.

Manzo, Christina, Geoff Kaufman, Sukdith Punjasthitkul, and Mary Flanagan. 2015. “‘By the People, For the People’: Assessing the Value of Crowdsourced, User-Generated Metadata.” DHQ: Digital Humanities Quarterly 9 (1).

Morgan, Colleen, Helen Petrie, Holly Wright, and James Stuart Taylor. 2021. “Drawing and Knowledge Construction in Archaeology: The Aide Mémoire Project.” Journal of Field Archaeology 46(8): 614-628.

Pringle, E. 2020. “Provisional Semantics. AHRC: Towards a National Collection, Interim Report.” AHRC.

Sanderson, R., and A. Clemens. 2020. “Libraries, Archives and Museums Are Not Neutral: Working Toward Eliminating Systemic Bias and Racism in Cultural Heritage Information Systems.”

Srinivasan, Ramesh. 2018. Whose Global Village?: Rethinking How Technology Shapes Our World. NYU Press.

Whitelaw, Mitchell. 2015. “Generous Interfaces for Digital Cultural Collections.”

Wilkinson, Mark D., Michel Dumontier, I. Jsbrand Jan Aalbersberg, Gabrielle Appleton, Myles Axton, Arie Baak, Niklas Blomberg, et al. 2016. “The FAIR Guiding Principles for Scientific Data Management and Stewardship.” Scientific Data 3 (March): 160018.

Wright, Holly, and Julian D. Richards. 2018. “Reflections on Collaborative Archaeology and Large-Scale Online Research Infrastructures.” Journal of Field Archaeology 43 (sup1): S60–67.

TETRARCHs is supported by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Belgian, Swedish, Slovenian and Lithuanian funding councils under CHANSE ERA-NET Co-fund programme, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under Grant Agreement no 101004509.

Are you using immersive technologies in archaeology or heritage education (formal and informal)?

Join us in Oxford, April 2020, at the CAA conference to critically discuss your experiences & test some examples…

iN Deep - CAA Conference CFPElaine Sullivan (University of California, Santa Cruz), Paola Derudas (Lund University) and I are excited to announce the call for contributions to a session that we will host at the upcoming Computing Applications in Archaeology conference in Oxford, UK, 14-17 April 2020.

We seek individuals who have been using immersive technologies – virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality or other XR methods – in their archaeology/heritage classrooms or informal educational settings. Have you been applying these technologies for formal or informal pedagogical purposes and evaluating their effects? If so, this session is for you!

We are specifically looking for critical discussion of the outcomes of using such tools for teaching and learning. We are interested in how the evaluations that you’ve done can help to inform future design, development and curation of immersive teaching & learning aids. We also hope to enable conference attendees to actually try out these technologies during the session so that everyone can contribute to a dialogue about how we critically analyse and evolve them.

A full description of our session is below. Deadline for applications is 31 October, and instructions on how to submit an abstract are available on the CAA Conference webpages.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have questions! And hope to see you there.

S26.  iN Deep: Cultural Presence in Immersive Educational Experiences (Other)

Convenors:

Elaine A. Sullivan, University of California Santa Cruz
Sara Perry, University of York
Paola Derudas, Lunds Universitet

Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (XR) technologies are increasingly incorporated into university classrooms and public education in the GLAM sector (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums). The potential to use these technologies to engage students and the public with archaeological knowledge (such as site reconstructions, artefacts, or re-imagining the activities of past peoples) is exciting, but these forms of representation, including the use of individual headsets, tablets, and personal mobile phones, come with particular challenges. In his book Critical Gaming (2015), Eric Champion argued that virtual realities should express ‘cultural presence,’ the meaning and significance of a time, place, or object to people of the past. Hyper-reality, photogrammetry, and ever-increasing levels of ‘accuracy’ in 3D models do not inherently convey aspects of cultural significance and meaning, and many VR/AR/XR experiences fall dramatically short of the goal of expressing the importance of past places and things to their original communities. Emphasis on technological and (especially) hardware innovation often deflects attention from critically engaging with questions of meaning-making.

This panel asks those creating or intensely using Archaeology VR/AR/XR to focus NOT on software, hardware, or the latest technical innovations, but on how we as archaeologists can better designcreate, or curate experiences that inspire and educate students and the public on the cultural importance of archaeological spaces, objects or themes. What are successful techniques to aid a visitor to better understand the original context of an object now placed in a (often far off) museum or gallery? How can university instructors incorporate the (problematically individual) headset or mobile experiences into pedagogy to provide meaningful and active student learning? How can complex data be usefully layered or curated so that multiple types of museum visitors or classes could find it informative and emotionally resonant? How can we turn these increasingly popular technologies into serious spaces of cultural learning and curiosity, moving beyond the initial ‘wow’ factor?

Format

Instead of traditional 20 minute talks, we request that participants present 8-10 minutes in depth on one VR/AR/XR experience they have designed and/or utilized in a university or GLAM setting (not a general review of multiple types of work). We ask participants to present and explain aspects of design and interaction and their intent in that experience; or, if the content was not designed by the presenter, how content was incorporated, curated, or enhanced for the classroom or GLAM experience. Specifically, we ask presenters to think thoughtfully and critically about how we might collectively learn to use these technologies in more informed ways, including: What types of interactions with students or the public have shown promise, and how might we build on those successes? What practices have not worked, and how might we learn from our failures? What particular aspects of archaeological and cultural heritage knowledge are best emphasized in the VR/AR/XR experience? What is key to re-using content created by others, including content created by non-archaeologists?

The session will be divided into four sections:

  • 1st group of presentations, ~five presenters (10 minutes per presentation)
  • a ~30 minute ‘hands-on’ period** where participants and the audience will be able to engage/interact directly with the presented content from both presentation groups
  • 2nd group of presentations, ~five presenters (10 minutes per presentation)
  • concluded by a ~30-minute Q&A session for the full group of presenters and audience

We hope this format will allow the audience to engage directly with the content before opening up the session for questions and comments. The goal is to turn this session into a workshop that helps all present work more critically with VR/AR/XR content and improve how we communicate scholarly information at the university and GLAM setting.

**We therefore ask participants to commit to bringing their discussed content uploaded or downloadable in some format that can be shared directly with others: including (but not limited to) VR headsets, Google cardboard, AR apps pre-installed on tablets or smart phones, etc.

References

Champion, E. (2015). Critical Gaming: Interactive History and Virtual Heritage. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Workshop on the Co-Design of Digital Experiences in Archaeology, 1-2 April, 2019

Join us in York in April 2019 for a 2-day workshop exploring co-design for digital archaeology/heritage projects…

 

Co-design of digital experiences in archaeology
Designing with and for your audience… join us in York to develop user-driven digital experiences for archaeology and heritage. Photo thanks to Sarah Drewell and the York Young Archaeologists’ Club (https://www.yac-uk.org/clubs/york)

Francesca Dolcetti, Rachel Opitz, and myself are very excited to announce that we will be hosting a workshop in York in April on digital experience co-design for archaeologists and heritage practitioners. Generously sponsored by the EU Cost Action ARKWORK, and linked to our forthcoming roundtable on User Experience at the CAA conference in Poland, this two-day event will entail small groups working together through a four-phase model (case study description, experience design, prototyping, & evaluation), towards the creation and critique of mock-up digital archaeology/heritage experiences.

We are seeking a small group of interested participants to join us for this expenses-paid workshop on 1-2 April. To be eligible, you must be a member of ARKWORK, and you can apply to join via ARKWORK’s ‘join us’ page. We are particularly keen to support participants from Inclusiveness Target Countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey.

Please read below for a fuller description of the intent of the workshop, its schedule, and how to apply. The deadline for expressions of interest is 16 December. We hope to host you in York!


Co-Design of Digital Experiences in Archaeology, 1-2 April, 2019

King’s Manor, University of York, York, UK

User experience (UX) is a critical component of effectively mobilizing legacy datasets and collections in archaeology. In this sense, it is crucial to the success of the discipline as a scholarly, professional and pedagogical pursuit. However, our understandings of UX in archaeology, and our tools to facilitate UX design and evaluation, are arguably negligible. This workshop is focused on the interdisciplinary co-creation and user testing of digitally-mediated experiences geared at archaeological sites and collections. It aims to provide a forum for testing the benefits of design strategies and tools coming from the field of Participatory Design, and devising a digital publication work pipeline that involves end users and stakeholders from the outset. We seek to bring together a multidisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners working in the field of archaeological knowledge production, use and communication.

The activities proposed here will provide practical experiences on how to integrate archaeological data, storytelling and digital platforms to encourage professional and wider public engagement with the past. Moreover, the workshop aims to foster reflections on the importance of evaluation and iterative design, especially within the prototyping phase, to create experiences bespoke to diverse users’ needs and expectations.

The workshop is organised as a two-day event with participants working in 4 groups, structured in four phases:

  • case study description: each group will work on a preselected case study and articulate its basic information and available sources (metadata/paradata);
  • experience design: each group will define both contents and intended audience, what kind of message they intend to convey and how to structure the experience;
  • prototyping: each group will build a 2D/3D paper mock-up to visualise the experience and make it tangible;
  • evaluation: each group will act as end users and cross-evaluate other groups’ experiences.

1 April

9.30-10.00 introductions

10.00-10.30 coffee break

10.30-11.00 introduction to the aim and structure of workshop activities

11.00-12.30 activity 1: case study description

12.30-13.30 lunch break

13.30-15.30 activity 2: experience design

15.30-16.00 coffee break

16.00-17.00 discussion

19.00 Social dinner

2 April

9.30-10.00 resume activities

10.00-10.30 coffee break

10.30-12.30 activity 3: prototyping

12.30-13.30 lunch break

13.30-16.00 activity 4: evaluation

16.00-16.30 coffee and final discussion

Call for participants

We are looking for 16 participants who

  • are working on projects focused on the creation of digital resources related to archaeological collections and heritage sites;
  • have research interests in UX design, UX evaluation and participatory design fields.
  • Are a member of COST Action ARKWORK.  If you are interested in joining the action please contact the workshop organisers, and submit an expression of interest at https://www.arkwork.eu/join-us/

If you are interested in participating in this workshop, please send a short expression of interest (no more than 150 words) to Francesca Dolcetti (fd648@york.ac.uk).

Deadline for expressions of interest is Sunday 16 December 2018.

Participation to this event is open to Arkwork members only. If you are interested in joining the Action please contact the workshop organisers, and submit an expression of interest at https://www.arkwork.eu/join-us/